In preparation of our friend Ellen Silverman borrowing our space to shoot a video, we decided to tackle the long-neglected job of cleaning our very tarnished silver (we’ve been BUSY!) We pulled out the silver polish and started rubbing…and rubbing…and rubbing…quickly realizing that it would take us FOREVER to get the job done. We knew there had to be some old fashioned method —akin to the way we cleaned our copper pots with salt and vinegar — so did a quick search online. We found the DIY version of a the “miracle Museum Precious Metals Cleaning Plate” Hammacher Schlemmer sells for for $29.95. It was worth a shot.
We lined the sink with alumium foil, filled it with a few inches of hot water and sprinkled in a few tablespoons each of baking soda
and salt...stirred to dissolve and threw in the silver. (Note: we’ve since found that baking soda alone works best.) Then we waited.
After a half hour or much of the tarnish had moved from the silver to the foil through “electrolytic action”. Some of the pieces still had streaks of tarnish. We found we could quickly remove them by rubbing lightly with our favorite tool: an ultra ultra fine contour sanding sponge; it was as though the baking soda solution had loosened the tarnish, and it was just waiting to be cleaned off. (You could also use a dab of silver polish to sparkle the silver up; some have a silicone coating that keeps silver from tarnishing quickly.) When the foil became darkened and discolored, we replaced it with new to clean another batch of silver.
We got a mountain of silver done in no time, for little effort and money.
This seriously works!